Snaps from the Field – a Sample of our Inspection Findings

Electrical Grounding – February, 2023

Et Tu, Plumber? Back in the day, this would have been the house’s “main grounding connection.” It’s where the electrical service was grounded to the house’s steel water pipe. Somewhere along the way, someone changed out the thicker steel pipe for a more slender copper tube. Disturbed rust on the screw threads shows where someone loosened the clamp to change it, but callously [...]

2023-06-14T16:54:25-07:00February 1st, 2023|Electrical, Snaps from the Field|

Gas Range (electric to gas conversion) – January, 2023

So You Bought a Gas Range... Our intrepid homeowner switched from an electric range to a gas range. To accommodate the new range, any electrician could easily have changed the old 240-volt circuit to a 120-volt circuit, but our hero came up with a better way: Mangle the old range cord to make an “adapter.” Why is that a problem? Let us count [...]

2023-07-31T14:48:11-07:00January 1st, 2023|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

Plumbing vents and B-vents – December, 2022

A Sirius Problem? A few things are wrong here. The most obvious is the plumbing vent pipe that supports a satellite dish. Our plumbing code calls this “flagpoling” and prohibits it outright. Plumbing vents shouldn’t support any other objects, including television aerials, satellite dishes, and, of course, flagpoles. Flagpoling can cause the horizontal portion of the vent (in the attic) to sag and [...]

2023-06-14T16:54:09-07:00December 1st, 2022|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

Plumbing drain system and test plug – November, 2022

The Plumber Knows He Forgot Something. He Just Can’t Remember What. When plumbing a new house, plumbers must pressure-test the waste pipes to ensure that the system doesn't leak. Leaks might allow waste water or sewer gas to enter the house. So, when the drain piping is complete, the plumber inserts a test plug and fills the drain system with water all the [...]

2023-06-14T16:54:04-07:00November 1st, 2022|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

Basement floor drains – October, 2022

Basement floor drains are supposed to *remove* basement water, not bring it in. One of the reasons that home inspectors run so much water during an inspection is to reveal problems like this one. The basement floor drain is connected to the main sewer line, which doesn’t drain fast enough. As a result, some water backs up into the basement. While this might [...]

2023-06-14T16:54:00-07:00October 1st, 2022|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

TPR valves – September, 2022

Temperature and pressure relief (TPR) valves are critically important safety devices. When one fails or is improperly installed in a way that prevents it from doing its job, a traditional tank-style water heater can behave like a bomb (or a rocket). Here, a flush kit for a tankless water heater is installed upside down, placing a shut off valve between the hot water [...]

2023-06-14T16:53:56-07:00September 1st, 2022|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

Gutters – August, 2022

A New Type of Leaf Screen?  This gutter may be very effective at separating leaves from the water off the roof, but only at the expense of water running down the side of the house and causing damage. This pattern of deterioration is certainly unusual - I would suspect that it may be corrosion from some type of de-icer chemical/pellets or possibly seeds [...]

2023-07-31T14:56:28-07:00August 1st, 2022|Exterior, Roofs and Gutters, Snaps from the Field|

Plumbing – July, 2022

A trombone comes to mind. . . Or maybe miniature golf. Drainpipes under a sink should be simple: a small U-shaped bend called a “trap” holds a plug of water to prevent sewer gas from rising out of the drain. This plug of water should never be more than 4” deep and the remaining drainpipes should be as short and direct as possible. [...]

2023-10-31T10:20:33-07:00July 1st, 2022|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|

Vents – June, 2022

Your Dryer Vent- It's Full of Hot Air Your dryer tumbles your clothes with lots of hot air, which is then vented out through a duct to a vent outside the home. When the vent does not have good clearance, airflow is restricted which can have several results: your dryer may take longer to dry your clothes resulting in higher energy usage and additional [...]

2023-06-14T16:29:51-07:00June 6th, 2022|HVAC, Snaps from the Field|

Plumbing – May, 2022

Toilet Fill Valve A toilet fill valve performs the thankless task of refilling a toilet's tank after each flush. They come in a variety of configurations, based on the size, shape, and design of the toilet. A malfunctioning one can make the toilet run continuously or fail to refill the tank with the right amount of water. When they're installed too low in the [...]

2023-11-30T12:01:25-08:00May 1st, 2022|Gas and Plumbing, Snaps from the Field|
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